An analysis of the European Semester process 2020 by EuroHealthNet and in cooperation with the Joint Action on Health Equity (JAHEE) highlighted the potentially severe impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on health inequalities. It also identifies several actions that will put the European economies on track for a healthy economic recovery which takes wellbeing into account.
The European Semester is the EU’s annual cycle of economic and social policy coordination. For this analysis, EuroHealthNet conducted structured interviews with national experts, reviewed Semester Country Reports, Recommendations and associated evidence, and liaised closely with the national experts and authorities of the JAHEE consortium.
All experts highlighted the social and economic components of the COVID-19 pandemic and most noted a widening of inequalities. All said that it has affected access to health systems, including for chronic conditions. People without digital skills struggled more. Most interviews also indicated an inequitable impact on mental health.
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